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Portuguese Judiciary Police follows new abduction leads

Ongoing Operation

PJ follows new abduction leads
CM Investigation - Maddie process reopened 12 years later
⇛ More inspectors search for the suspect that may have taken the child
⇛ Over 13 million euros spent so far in the search for the girl

from the Cover page

Judiciary follows new abduction lead in the Maddie case

Team reinforced → More inspectors are proceeding with the investigation to the new suspect of having taken the child of the village of Praia da Luz, exactly 12 years ago
Accidental Crime → Parents were constituted as arguidos. The case was then shelved.

by Tânia Laranjo/Débora Carvalho

A new lead and a new suspect - that the Judiciary Police tries to keep in absolute secrecy - have lead to the reintroduction of more means to investigate the whereabouts of the English child, who disappeared exactly 12 years ago, from a resort in Praia da Luz , Lagos. The process, which was sent to the PJ of Porto to be re-evaluated, now counts with the collaboration of a even wider team that still tries to clarify the mystery. This scenario would remove the parents from the equation - that had been constituted as arguidos earlier at the beginning of the case.

The Public Prosecutor's Office also admits that these new investigative lines are strong and can lead to the clarification of the process. A 12-year investigation marked by breakthroughs and setbacks. Maddie disappeared in the village where she was staying, from the bedroom where she was with her twin brothers of 18 months.

The alert was given at 10:00 pm by the mother and the Judiciary Police even admitted a scenario of accidental crime. Kate and Gerry Mccann were constituted as arguidos (suspects), the case was later shelved, but later on data emerged indicating the possibility that the child had been abducted.

Now and after a few years without any police investigations being publicly known, the Judiciary is back on the case and admits to be closer to knowing what happened to Madeleine Mccann. Even in an abduction scenario, the authorities have many doubts that the child, that would be 15 years-old today, is still alive.

Maddie's process continues at the DCIAP (Central Department for Investigation and Penal Action) of Portimão
The Public Prosecutor's Office confirms “active lines of investigation”
■ The CM (Correio da Manhã) asked to consult the process and this was granted at first. However, the magistrate has made a new dispatch, in which he does not authorize, since the investigation is "still with active lines of investigation" and its disclosure would be prejudicial.

The process has more than 12 thousand pages and 17 volumes and annexes. During the thirteen months of investigation, the Judiciary Police conducted more than two thousand investigative proceedings, heard over 700 people, made close to 500 searches in Praia da Luz and identified more than two dozen suspects.

Tonight at 21h15, in CMTV

'CM INVESTIGATION' reveals tonight, in exclusive, new abduction leads in the Maddie case. 12 years later, the PJ reinforces team in the last-ditch attempt with the hope of finding a child that would be 15 years-old today.

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Mystery in Praia da Luz has already cost more than 13 million euros
Operation Grange has only four inspectors on the case

 ■ So far more than 13 million euros have been spent trying to find the English girl. Operation Grange, the English police investigation to the disappearance of Maddie Mccann - received more 172 thousand euros from the British government at the end of last year. This last allocation served to finance the first months of this year.

Initiated in 2011, Operation Grange, with the funding made available by the English Ministry of Internal Affairs (Home Office), has yet to produce any relevant results. The amount already invested in the case has prompted widespread criticism in England.

After having close to 30 people working in the investigation, since 2015 the Metropolitan Police has only four inspectors on the case. Funding has been renewed every six months, with the police always ensuring they are following lines of investigation that may lead to the whereabouts of the girl who was then three years-old. Maddie disappeared from the bedroom where she slept with the two twin brothers in a tourist apartment while her parents had dinner with friends.

Justice revokes sentence of PJ inspector
Gonçalo Amaral led the investigation of the case in the PJ of Portimão

■ In 2015, the Lisbon Civil Court sentenced former PJ inspector Gonçalo Amaral to pay Madeleine McCann's parents 500,000 euros for damages caused by the publication of the book titled 'Maddie: The Truth of the Lie', which defends the involvement of the British couple in the disappearance of their daughter and the concealment of their child's corpse. However, a year later, the Relation decided to revoke the Civil court's ruling. The Supreme Court also upheld this decision.

Odour of cadaver in the car and McCann's clothing
Sniffer dogs detect odour of cadaver in the car rented by the couple

■ In a total of ten vehicles, the sniffer dogs only alerted to cadaver odour and blood in Kate and Gerry McCann's car, rented 24 days after Madeleine's disappearance. Kate's two pieces of clothing also produced alerts.

Twins never woke up despite the turmoil
■ The twins Sean and Amelie never woke up with the turmoil on the night of the crime, before or after their sister was taken from the apartment, but Gerry Mccann assured that it was normal for this to happen. They were 18 months old.

Robert Murat was the first arguido
Briton was questioned twice
■ The British man, Robert Murat became the first arguido in the process to the girl's disappearance on 14 May 2007. He was questioned for 14 hours. The villa where he used to live is less than than 150 meters from the Ocean Club apartment in Praia da Luz.

Authorities took into account the seven McCann friends
■ In addition to the McCann couple, the remaining seven adults in the group were also in the sights of the Judiciary Police. They were near the site of events, lived in close to the McCann's apartment and could have reasons to harm the girl.

Revealed sketch of the suspect of the abduction of the English girl
Drawing made by our police
■ The first draft the police made of the suspect of Maddie's abduction is at least unusual. In the image, it is possible to see an oval face without eyes, nose or mouth. The drawing was shown to several residents who were in Lagos at that time.

CASE REOPENED IN 2013 (top of page)
For the PJ, Maddie could have been abducted by a group linked to child trafficking or killed during an abduction that had gone wrong. However, nothing was ever proven and after more than thirteen months the authorities were forced to close and shelve the case. The case was eventually reopened in 2013.

Pedro do Carmo, the then deputy director of the PJ, assured in 2017 that the PJ never suffered political pressures. "The Judiciary Police did not feel any political pressures from the British authorities and even less from the Portuguese to act in this way or that way. This pressure did not exist at all," he said.

Netherlands | Blackmail
In Holland, a man was arrested for trying to exploit the McCann couple with false information about the whereabouts of their eldest daughter.

Restaurant 50 meters away
The parents, both doctors, dined with a group of friends in a restaurant in the resort about 50 meters away from the apartment. They had arrived in the Algarve on April 28.

Couple questioned by the PJ
On May 10, 2007, the McCann couple is questioned for the second time by the PJ, while the apartment where they were staying was again searched. They were also constituted as arguidos.

Sighting in Morocco
A Norwegian tourist, 45 years-old, residing in Fuengirola, Spain, guaranteed, on May 9, 2007, to have seen Madeleine at a service station in Morocco. There were sightings a bit all over the world.

Pope Blessing
About a thousand pilgrims prayed, on May 23, 2007, the rosary in the Chapel of Apparitions in Fátima, in the company of Gerry and Kate McCann. Days later, the couple travelled to Rome. In St. Peter's Square, in the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI blessed a photo of Madeleine.

Suspects Across the whole EU
In 2013, British police revealed that they had opened an investigation into the disappearance of the girl and identified 38 "persons of interest" to be questioned throughout Europe. Twelve of them were British who would have been in Portugal at the time.

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in digital edition of Correio da Manhã, May 3 2019


  1. You can't possibly believe this? It's CdM, not exactly known for its accuracy.

    1. I do believe their reporting since they have contacts in the PJ, as proven by the many accurate crime stories they publish not related to this case but also about this case, I just really don't believe that this line of investigation merits any credit. In fact, it seems a bit coincidental the PJ team in Porto was silent for several years and now on the 12th anniversary, a bit to show off work, this new "very secretive" lead appears. The reporting is also given credence by the fact that magistrate holding the process has not given permission for the media to access the process i.e. the case files, since they now pertain to an ongoing and active investigation and also by the Public Ministry aka Public Prosecutor's Office statement.


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